Planning a trip to Sri Lanka anytime soon this New Year? Well, there is good news for you as the country is offering freevisa-on-arrival for Indian passport holders. The country extended the scheme today where it is offering free visa-on-arrival till April 30 for the citizens of 48 countries. The news was announced by Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister PrasannaRanatunga. The step was taken in order to revive the tourism of the country which was severely hit by the Easter Sunday bombings. The country had stopped its scheme of giving free visa-on-arrival in April after the bombings which killed around 258 people. About 39 countries were barred from the scheme.
Then, in July, the country added more countries in the scheme; which was implemented on August 1, and included India in it. PrasannaRanatunga told PTI, “We have decided to extend this facility due to requests from the stake holders. A Cabinet paper would be submitted for this purpose.” After the Easter Sunday bombings took place, the country levied a fee of USD 20 for South Asian travellers and USD 35 for travellers from other parts of the world. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry contributes around 5 per cent to its GDP, but the bombings affected the tourism of the country severely. The bombings, which targeted three Catholic churches and three hotels in Colombo, killed around 250 people, which included 44 foreigners, and injured over 500, including 37 foreigners.
SOURCE: INDIA TODAY